21 May 2009 Edition

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McIlveen murder - lenient sentencing to be challenged

BEATEN TO DEATH: Michael McIlveen

BEATEN TO DEATH: Michael McIlveen

BY LAURA FRIEL

THE leniency of sentencing handed down to four men convicted of the sectarian murder of Catholic schoolboy Michael McIlveen was discussed at a recent meeting of the Policing Board.
The 15-year-old Ballymena schoolboy died after being beaten by a unionist gang in May 2006. Four men have been convicted but the trial judge ruled that even the longest sentenced could be considered for release after 13 years.
After the sentencing, the McIlveen family expressed their disappointment and accused the trial judge of undue leniency. At a meeting of the Policing Board, outgoing PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde said he shares the McIlveen family’s concerns.
Orde said such a “brutal and violent and unprovoked attack that leads to the death of an innocent young man should receive an appropriate and, indeed, a severe sentence”.
The PSNI chief said he would be writing to the director of the Public Prosecution Service with a view to raising the matter with the Attorney General.

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